The PlayStation 5 is (Theoretically) Available — Here’s What You Need to Know to Actually Secure One

Jon Bitner
·11 min read

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The PlayStation 5 is finally here, although trying to find one at retailers is proving to be a challenge. Between the general popularity of the console and the rampant bots and resellers, locating a PS5 at stores has been an issue around the globe. Thankfully, most shops have been restocking Sony’s next-gen console every few weeks, and that trend looks to continue through 2021.

If you’re having trouble finding a PS5, here are the places you’ll want to keep your eyes on. While most of them are currently out of stock, it’s become common practice to announce new deliveries just hours before they become available.

Where to Buy the PS5

PS5 with accessories
Credit: Sony

PS5 is available in two different formats. There’s the traditional PS5 – which costs $499.99 – and the Digital Edition – which lacks an optical drive. If you want to make the next-gen jump but don’t want to break the bank, opting for the Digital Edition can save you $100. Besides the lack of an optical drive, everything else under the hood is the same.

Unfortunately, neither of these models are currently in-stock at any retailer. Still, if you’re hoping to pick up the new system, these are the places to watch.

GameStop PS5 Offers

While the gaming giant doesn’t have anything available right now, it’s one of the more popular locations for restocks. In fact, just this weekend it surprised customers with a new shipment of PS5s. We’d recommend following the official GameStop Twitter account to get frequent updates on its inventory. When a restock is announced, move fast – units typically sell out within a few minutes of going live.

Best Buy PS5 Offers

All standalone consoles are sold out, as well as the Spider-Man: Miles Morales bundle with a Digital Edition PS5 and controller which was listed as “Coming Soon” for a few days in mid-December. However, Best Buy has been consistently restocking the PS5, so we recommend you keep an eye on this retailer all the same.

Target PS5 Offers

Target has been known to restock its online inventory late at night, with many customers stay up into the early hours of the morning waiting for that “Add to Cart” button to become active. It usually announces restocks on Twitter, but doesn’t provide a specific time. That means you’ll be riding your keyboard with a cup of coffee nearby, waiting for the inventory to get pushed live.

PS5 and PS5 box
PS5 and PS5 box

Walmart PS5 Offers

Last month Walmart did a great job of bringing in loads of PS5s, but this month might be a bit slower. You’ll normally find updates directly on the Walmart website – letting you know exact times for inventory drops – but so far there’s been no word about another restock in December. Walmart is big on announcing units the day they go online, so check back daily for any new info.

Amazon PS5 Offers

We haven’t heard too much about Amazon restocks over the past few weeks, but that doesn’t mean one won’t happen in the future. Walmart, Target, and GameStop seem to be your best bets, but Amazon is a good wild card to have in your back pocket. At the same time, we know things like, say, the holidays or a second wave of a pandemic, have been known to stagger Amazon’s supply chain, so you likely have a better shot at a different retailer.

PlayStation Store PS5 Offers

Sony has been restocking PS5s on its own storefront, but just because you hang around and land a spot in the queue doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to get a console. Sony will typically announce drops before they happen, but you won’t have a lot of lead time – keep your eyes peeled and act fast if you want to pick one up.

Costco and Sam’s Club Ps5 Offers

Both Costco and Sam’s Club offered PS5s for pre-order, but there hasn’t been much noise on either front since launch day. However, it’s worth noting that Costco offered a deal on a bundle that included an extra controller, the new Spider-Man game and a one-month PlayStation Now subscription for $639.99 total. While that deal sold out incredibly quickly, it might be worth checking back to see if it returns, especially if you’re already a Costco member.

Shop PS5 at Costco

What’s New with the PlayStation 5?

PS5
Credit: Sony

PS5 Specs

  • Optical drive: 4K UHD Blu-ray drive

  • Internal storage: Custom 825GB SSD

  • Expandable storage: NVMe SSD slot

  • CPU: AMD Zen 2-based CPU with 8 cores at 3.5GHz (variable frequency)

  • GPU: 10.28 TFLOPs, 36 CUs at 2.23GHz (variable frequency)

  • Memory bandwidth: 448GB/s

  • External storage: USB HDD support (only works with PS4 games)

The PS5 Design Is Unique (and Large)

First, we need to address the elephant in the room. The PS5 looks a lot funkier than its predecessors with a slim, curved design that almost resembles a modern sculpture. It’s also quite large, coming in at 15.4″ tall, 10.2″ deep, and 4.0″ wide. The Digital Edition is a bit slimmer, thanks to the lack of an optical drive, but that only shaves about 12 millimeters off its size. However, the PS5 is definitely slimmer than the Series X, and gamers will be able to choose whether they want to set the system up horizontally or vertically.

Sony Launched Two Versions Simultaneously

Whether you love the convenience of digital gaming or prefer having a hard copy of every game you play, Sony has got your back. Two different versions of PS5 are available, one that includes a disc drive and one that does not.

If you don’t mind the lack of a disc drive, you can save yourself $100 — the Digital Edition retails for $399 while the traditional console is going for $499. It’s also worth noting that, unlike the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, the two PlayStation 5 consoles share the exact same internal specs. That means games will look the same regardless of which version they are running on, the only difference is that you won’t be able to play any physical games on the Digital Edition.

Launch Titles Worth Your Time and Money

Sony has released over 25 new titles for the PS5, including sequels and spinoffs to some of their most popular franchises. Launch titles included Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, NBA 2K21, Outriders, Godfall, and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales.

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales was one of the biggest launch titles, described as a stand-alone game that’s somewhere between a sequel and an expansion to Marvel’s Spider-Man. Other exciting titles coming in 2020 and beyond include Horizon: Forbidden West, Gran Turismo 7, Oddworld: Soulstorm, Resident Evil 8: Village, and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. PlayStation Plus has also been revamped, giving PS5 players access to hit PS4 titles such as God of War and Uncharted 4.

spiderman game for PS5
Credit: Sony

Here’s a full breakdown of launch window games announced for PS5:

  • Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales

  • Horizon: Forbidden West

  • Gran Turismo 7

  • Resident Evil 8: Village

  • Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

  • Oddworld: Soulstorm

  • Sackboy: A Big Adventure

  • NBA 2K21

  • HITMAN 3

  • Tribes of Midgard

  • Godfall 

  • Bugsnax

  • Ghostwire: Tokyo

  • Demon’s Souls

  • Solar Ash

  • Astro’s Playroom

  • Little Devil Inside

  • Project Athia

  • Destruction All Stars

  • JETT: The Far Shore

  • DEATHLOOP

  • The Pathless

  • Goodbye Volcano High

  • Kena: Bridge of the Spirits

  • Pragmata

  • Returnal

  • Stray

  • Grand Theft Auto V

DualSense Controller Cosmetic Updates

Like the towering Xbox Series X console design, the PS5 controller’s new look is polarizing. Some people think it looks futuristic, while others feel it resembles a poorly made Stormtrooper toy. Wherever you land on this spectrum, there’s no denying Sony is breaking away from tradition with this update.

This is the first radical cosmetic redesign for PlayStation controllers since the PS1 hit store shelves. DualSense wireless controllers are now black and white instead of one solid color, and the grips and trigger shapes have been adjusted for increased comfort. In our opinion, the new design seems to more closely resemble an Xbox controller, which will likely prove a comfort to players with larger hands. However, it’s nice to see Sony stick to its guns with classic PlayStation design choices like symmetrical thumbsticks and disconnected D-pad buttons.

Sony’s new controller also features adaptive triggers. This allows developers to customize the sensitivity of the L2/R2 trigger buttons to better emulate the weapon you are meant to be using. For example, you will encounter more resistance when using the trigger to draw a bow taut than you will when firing a pistol. Sony hopes these features will make gameplay more immersive, and early examples of the technology show a lot of potential.

ps5 controller side view
Credit: Sony

DualSense Controller Feature Updates

The first major change in these new controllers is the inclusion of haptic feedback. This replaced the traditional “rumble pack” sensation that many controllers feature and allows for a greater range of feedback. Basically, you can feel the difference in your controller when firing a machine gun in-game versus crashing a motorcycle into a wall. There is also 3D audio, which enhances the immersive feeling when playing VR games as well as traditional gaming formats.

For those who like to get creative with their games, the new controller has replaced the “share” button with a “create” button, letting you quickly take screenshots or videos and share them with the world.

One last update: You won’t be needing a headset to chat online. The new DualSense controller features a built in microphone that lets you quickly and easily chat with friends and other players, although a headset is still recommended for longer gaming sessions.

Backward Compatibility and Physical Media

Whenever a new system is announced, backward compatibility is always a major concern. Thankfully, Designer Mark Cerny confirmed the PS5 is fully compatible with all current PS4 games.

On top of that, Sony has confirmed it will continue to offer games as physical discs, as opposed to the streaming-only option other developers are considering. That’s huge news for gamers who count on the resale value of older titles to buy new games. Physical discs for the PS5 have a 100 GB of storage, and the console fully supports Blu-ray discs as well.

The New Console Will Have Better Audio

All this new hardware led to massive improvements on in-game audio, especially in comparison to the PS4. The AMD chip allows for more immersive sounds and scores that lets the player pinpoint noise sources in any direction while playing. The new system is even capable of full 3D audio, so get ready to hear grenades explode directly above your head.

While the feature works with your average home speakers, Cerny admits headphones are the “gold standard” when it comes to appreciating the enhanced audio quality.

The Future of PlayStation VR

Sony has been quiet when it comes to its plans for virtual reality, but some information has been revealed. The new system is compatible with the current PSVR system, but it’s unclear if there will be new VR devices available in the coming months.

The PS4 and PS5 Will Exist Simultaneously (at First)

PS4 owners don’t have to worry about their consoles becoming obsolete quite yet.

Cerny confirmed that the PS4 will continue to receive new games after the release of the PS5, and some games will even be available on both systems. While there was no official confirmation, Cerny hinted that Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding would be available on both consoles.

If you don’t plan on upgrading anytime soon, you might be interested in these great PS4 deals:

Stay tuned to Slickdeals as we keep you updated on the new PlayStation console.

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Our editors strive to ensure that the information in this article is accurate as of the date published, but please keep in mind that offers can change. We encourage you to verify all terms and conditions of any product before you apply.